Monday, April 25, 2011


Yesterday we had the sunniest, warmest day since the summer. We woke up to sun and it stayed that way all day. We walked down the road to the Easter egg hunt. How lucky are we that it was right down the road.

Lots of eggs and no one really around us!

Loading up the Easter basket.

Suddenly the hoard of children made it down to our spot! Luckily we had already filled up our basket!

On the walk home.

Stopping to look at our neighbor's pretty flowers.

Looking into our backyard. I am so grateful for those two days of sun. We really needed it. (Today-Easter-we are back to pouring rain!)

Our tulips finally opened up in the sun.

Our first picnic of the season. We may not have another picnic for a long time, my online weather chart shows rain for the next 10 days +, but fingers crossed that will change. We made it to 67 degrees today and it felt hot!

We miss you Mike, Happy Easter to everyone we love!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cougar Mountain Zoo

On Wednesday Millie's preschool took a field trip to Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah. This was our first visit, but we really had a great time. First of all, despite the chilly day, it was really nice out, there were not many other visitors so we got to spend lots of time up close with the animals and we were allowed to feed them.

They had lots of macaws, lemurs, reindeer, deer, alpacas, wallabies, a bengal tiger, cheetahs, emus, and cranes. Unfortunately the cougar had died of old age, so we did not get to see the cougar on this visit.

Class photo.

Time for snack.

The reindeer gets a snack, too.

Millie and her friends.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17th-122 days to go

It's 12:42 p.m. on Sunday and we are missing our Papa (Mike) a lot...and we are really sad.

Now it's 2:29 p.m. and we still really miss him, but feel like things will be okay...

Now it's 3:13 p.m. and we still miss Mike and are back to feeling sad..

Stay safe in Iraq, don't work too hard and remember, we love you! Can't wait to pick you up in 122 days!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April showers...

Winter seemed to be going along okay this year and then we moved into Spring and things got ugly. Seems it has not stopped raining for weeks. I miss the sun and feel sorry for all our little hummingbirds in this cold. Seems like everyone is sick as well and now its finally caught up with our family. Hopefully some warm macaroni and cheese can help cheer us up tonight. Fingers crossed we may actually get to see some sun soon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Heart of Ice by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

This crime novel features Allison, a Federal Prosecutor, FBU Agent Nicole and crime reporter Cassidy. It is the third book in the Triple Threat series but can definitely be read as a stand alone novel.
At the Portland Fitness Center, Cassidy joins the boot camp class run by the seemingly flawless instructor Elizabeth Avery. Elizabeth is a master as manipulating people. The icy sociopath has already had her fellow former inmate, Joey Decicco, committing arson for her. Now she has her sites set on getting rid of her boyfriend's ex-wife and son. However, when Elizabeth ruthlessly disposes of an inquisitive young reporter, her crime catches the attention of Cassidy, Nicole and Allison. What they don't know is that they are already on a first name basis with the killer.
I thought this was a terrific read. It was interesting from the first page. This was my first Triple Threat novel, but I would read more in this series. There was plenty of suspense and mystery. Elizabeth was one of those evil characters who you just love to hate.The other characters were all women with pretty powerful jobs trying to balance work, families, friendship and even a life threatening sickness, as we see in Nicole's situation. A fast paced thriller that I would recommend to anyone who loves to read crime novels. Looks like there will be more in this series as well as a new supernatural series coming from this author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hearty Homemade Chicken soup

We love this homemade chicken soup in the Coombes house so much we decided to share our recipe!

We buy one of those already cooked, roasted chickens that you find at Costco or your local supermarket. I also find that having 2 large stockpots/dutch ovens are needed. Cooking time is about 2 to 3 hours.

1 roasted chicken
4 to 5 carrots, peeled
3 stalks celery
2 medium onions, peeled
5 black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, crushed
10 sprigs parsely (or dried)
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups egg noodles

1.)Make the stock: Pull off as much of the meat from the chicken and set aside. Add the chicken carcass to a large stockpot and add as much water to just cover the chicken carcass. Set stove top on medium heat. Chop all your vegetables-carrots, celery and onions, set aside to add to soup in step 2.
DO NOT THROW AWAY SCRAPS from veg. Add the scrap carrots tops/ends, celery ends, and onions scraps to the broth. Add peppercorns, garlic, 2 sprigs of parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring broth to boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 1 hr (or up to 2 hrs.) Chop remaining parsley leaves, set aside.

2.)Make the soup: In my second large stockpot, I melt the butter. Add all your chopped vegetables and cook until onions are translucent-7 minutes.

Now the tricky part....remove the chicken carcass from the broth and discard. Strain the broth through a metal colander into the pot with all the cooked vegetables.
How do I do that? With the heat on low, I place the metal colander on top of the vegetables I just cooked (to free up both my hands) and then I carefully pour the broth over the colander. I discard all the scraps in the colander.

Add the chicken pieces then the salt and pepper to the veg/broth mix. Simmer until veg are tender-1 hour. Stir in egg noodles and parsley and cook for 10 minutes more. Serve hot!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Another soggy, rainy day...

Another dark day here in the soggy Northwest. Wondering when we will get some sun.....please....